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|Author||: Brian Roberts|
|Editor||: University of Chicago Press|
Introduction -- Carnival -- The Vulgar Republic -- Jim Crow's Genuine Audience -- Black Song -- Meet the Hutchinsons -- Love Crimes -- The Middle-Class Moment -- Culture Wars -- Black America -- Conclusion: Musical without End
|Author||: Jason Richards|
|Editor||: University of Virginia Press|
How did early Americans define themselves? The American exceptionalist perspective tells us that the young republic rejected Europeans, Native Americans, and African Americans in order to isolate a national culture and a white national identity. Imitativeness at this time was often seen as antithetical to self and national creation, but Jason Richards argues that imitation was in fact central to such creation. Imitation Nation shows how whites simultaneously imitated and therefore absorbed the cultures they so readily disavowed, as well as how Indians and blacks emulated the power and privilege of whiteness while they mocked and resisted white authority. By examining the republic’s foundational literature--including works by Washington Irving, James Fenimore Cooper, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Herman Melville, and Martin Delany--Richards argues that the national desire for cultural uniqueness and racial purity was in constant conflict with the national need to imitate the racial and cultural other for self-definition. The book offers a new model for understanding the ways in which the nation’s identity and literature took shape during the early phases of the American republic.
|Author||: Yeidy M. Rivero|
|Editor||: Duke University Press|
Tuning Out Blackness fills a glaring omission in U.S. and Latin American television studies by looking at the history of Puerto Rican television. In exploring the political and cultural dynamics that have shaped racial representations in Puerto Rico’s commercial media from the late 1940s to the 1990s, Yeidy M. Rivero advances critical discussions about race, ethnicity, and the media. She shows that televisual representations of race have belied the racial egalitarianism that allegedly pervades Puerto Rico’s national culture. White performers in blackface have often portrayed “blackness” in local television productions, while black actors have been largely excluded. Drawing on interviews, participant observation, archival research, and textual analysis, Rivero considers representations of race in Puerto Rico, taking into account how they are intertwined with the island’s status as a U.S. commonwealth, its national culture, its relationship with Cuba before the Cuban Revolution in 1959, and the massive influx of Cuban migrants after 1960. She focuses on locally produced radio and television shows, particular television events, and characters that became popular media icons—from the performer Ramón Rivero’s use of blackface and “black” voice in the 1940s and 1950s, to the battle between black actors and television industry officials over racism in the 1970s, to the creation, in the 1990s, of the first Puerto Rican situation comedy featuring a black family. As the twentieth century drew to a close, multinational corporations had purchased all Puerto Rican stations and threatened to wipe out locally produced programs. Tuning Out Blackness brings to the forefront the marginalization of nonwhite citizens in Puerto Rico’s media culture and raises important questions about the significance of local sites of television production.
|Author||: David J. Leonard,Stephanie Troutman Robbins|
This two-volume encyclopedia explores representations of people of color in American television. It includes overview essays on early, classic, and contemporary television and the challenges, developments, and participation of people of color on and behind the screen. Covering five decades, this encyclopedia highlights how race has shaped television and how television has shaped society. Offering critical analysis of moments and themes throughout television history, Race in American Television shines a spotlight on key artists of color, prominent shows, and the debates that have defined television since the Civil Rights Movement. This book also examines the ways in which television has been a site for both reproduction of stereotypes and resistance to them, providing a basis for discussion about American racial issues. This set provides a significant resource for students and fans of television alike, not only educating but also empowering readers with the necessary tools to consume and watch the small screen and explore its impact on the evolution of racial and ethnic stereotypes in U.S. culture and beyond. Understanding the history of American television contributes to deeper knowledge and potentially helps us to better apprehend the plethora of diverse shows and programs on Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, and other platforms today. Offers accessible yet critical discussions of television culture Provides historic understanding of the contributions of significant artists of color to the history of American television Discusses a diversity of shows as well as debates and themes central to the history of American television
|Author||: Robert Hornback|
This book traces blackface types from ancient masks of grinning Africans and phallus-bearing Roman fools through to comedic medieval devils, the pan-European black-masked Titivillus and Harlequin, and racial impersonation via stereotypical 'black speech' explored in the Renaissance by Lope de Vega and Shakespeare. Jim Crow and antebellum minstrelsy recycled Old World blackface stereotypes of irrationality, ignorance, pride, and immorality. Drawing upon biblical interpretations and philosophy, comic types from moral allegory originated supposedly modern racial stereotypes. Early blackface traditions thus spread damning race-belief that black people were less rational, hence less moral and less human. Such notions furthered the global Renaissance’s intertwined Atlantic slave and sugar trades and early nationalist movements. The latter featured overlapping definitions of race and nation, as well as of purity of blood, language, and religion in opposition to 'Strangers'. Ultimately, Old World beliefs still animate supposed 'biological racism' and so-called 'white nationalism' in the age of Trump.
|Author||: Robert Lang,David Wark Griffith|
|Editor||: Rutgers University Press|
The birth of a nation follows the lives of two white families divided by, and enduring, the American Civil War, and includes elaborate cameos of historical events such as the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.
|Author||: Paul McEwan|
|Editor||: Bloomsbury Publishing|
Portraying the Ku Klux Klan as heroic underdogs, silent epic The Birth of a Nation (1915) is widely considered to be the most controversial film of all time. At once one of US culture's greatest artistic achievements and one of its most abhorrently racist artefacts, it becomes more shocking with every passing year. Comprising a decade of archival research and published on the 100th anniversary of the film's release, this richly detailed study considers both the film's afterlife and the artistic, industrial and moral surroundings in which it was created. Drawing on an unbroken century of production and reception history, Paul McEwan recounts the film's origins and development, Griffith's unique editing and cinematography and the construction of racial identity and fear in the film. Assessing its contribution as an art form, while directly grappling with the complexity of the art-or-racism debate, Paul McEwan shows how The Birth of a Nation has had a central role in the development of film and Film Studies worldwide.
|Author||: Grace Elizabeth Hale|
|Editor||: Oxford University Press|
At mid-century, Americans increasingly fell in love with characters like Holden Caulfield in Catcher in the Rye and Marlon Brando's Johnny in The Wild One, musicians like Elvis Presley and Bob Dylan, and activists like the members of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. These emotions enabled some middle-class whites to cut free of their own histories and identify with those who, while lacking economic, political, or social privilege, seemed to possess instead vital cultural resources and a depth of feeling not found in "grey flannel" America. In this wide-ranging and vividly written cultural history, Grace Elizabeth Hale sheds light on why so many white middle-class Americans chose to re-imagine themselves as outsiders in the second half of the twentieth century and explains how this unprecedented shift changed American culture and society. Love for outsiders launched the politics of both the New Left and the New Right. From the mid-sixties through the eighties, it flourished in the hippie counterculture, the back-to-the-land movement, the Jesus People movement, and among fundamentalist and Pentecostal Christians working to position their traditional isolation and separatism as strengths. It changed the very meaning of "authenticity" and "community." Ultimately, the romance of the outsider provided a creative resolution to an intractable mid-century cultural and political conflict-the struggle between the desire for self-determination and autonomy and the desire for a morally meaningful and authentic life.
|Author||: W. Fitzhugh Brundage|
|Editor||: UNC Press Books|
This collection of thirteen essays, edited by historian W. Fitzhugh Brundage, brings together original work from sixteen scholars in various disciplines, ranging from theater and literature to history and music, to address the complex roles of black performers, entrepreneurs, and consumers in American mass culture during the early twentieth century. Moving beyond the familiar territory of blackface and minstrelsy, these essays present a fresh look at the history of African Americans and mass culture. With subjects ranging from representations of race in sheet music illustrations to African American interest in Haitian culture, Beyond Blackface recovers the history of forgotten or obscure cultural figures and shows how these historical actors played a role in the creation of American mass culture. The essays explore the predicament that blacks faced at a time when white supremacy crested and innovations in consumption, technology, and leisure made mass culture possible. Underscoring the importance and complexity of race in the emergence of mass culture, Beyond Blackface depicts popular culture as a crucial arena in which African Americans struggled to secure a foothold as masters of their own representation and architects of the nation's emerging consumer society. The contributors are: Davarian L. Baldwin, Trinity College W. Fitzhugh Brundage, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Clare Corbould, University of Sydney Susan Curtis, Purdue University Stephanie Dunson, Williams College Lewis A. Erenberg, Loyola University Chicago Stephen Garton, University of Sydney John M. Giggie, University of Alabama Grace Elizabeth Hale, University of Virginia Robert Jackson, University of Tulsa David Krasner, Emerson College Thomas Riis, University of Colorado at Boulder Stephen Robertson, University of Sydney John Stauffer, Harvard University Graham White, University of Sydney Shane White, University of Sydney
|Author||: Robert Harris|
|Editor||: McClelland & Stewart|
The greatest story never told, this formidable and gorgeously written biography documents the amazing and controversial short life of Calixa Lavallée--the composer of "O Canada"--and the tumult of 19th-century North America. The story of "O Canada" is one of the great unknowns of our collective lives. No longer. This formidable and gorgeously written tale documents the history of this song of a nation, from its origins in French Canada in the years just after Confederation to the surprisingly controversial story of its adoption as Canada's national anthem a hundred years later. Song of a Nation is also the extraordinary and mysterious story of Calixa Lavallée--the anthem's French-Canadian composer--and his compelling, almost unbelievable personal journey: his early life as a blackface minstrel, travelling throughout the United States for more than a decade; his service for the Union Army in the American Civil War; his production of the first opera in Quebec; and, in a final act, becoming a leading figure in American music education. To understand "O Canada," and to understand the man who wrote it, is to return to the Canada of the mid-1800s, just forming as a nation, bringing together ancient racial hatreds and novel political possibilities. More than just a song, in its own story "O Canada" evokes the history of a country creating an identity for itself out of the unique forces and rivalries of French and English Canada, and looking to the infinite possibilities that lay ahead.
|Author||: Michael Rogin|
|Editor||: Univ of California Press|
The tangled connections that have bound Jews to African Americans in popular culture and liberal politics are at the heart of this text. It explores blackface in Hollywood films as an aperture to various broader issues.
|Author||: George Reid Andrews|
|Editor||: Univ of North Carolina Press|
Uruguay is not conventionally thought of as part of the African diaspora, yet during the period of Spanish colonial rule, thousands of enslaved Africans arrived in the country. Afro-Uruguayans played important roles in Uruguay's national life, creating the second-largest black press in Latin America, a racially defined political party, and numerous social and civic organizations. Afro-Uruguayans were also central participants in the creation of Uruguayan popular culture and the country's principal musical forms, tango and candombe. Candombe, a style of African-inflected music, is one of the defining features of the nation's culture, embraced equally by white and black citizens. In Blackness in the White Nation, George Reid Andrews offers a comprehensive history of Afro-Uruguayans from the colonial period to the present. Showing how social and political mobilization is intertwined with candombe, he traces the development of Afro-Uruguayan racial discourse and argues that candombe's evolution as a central part of the nation's culture has not fundamentally helped the cause of racial equality. Incorporating lively descriptions of his own experiences as a member of a candombe drumming and performance group, Andrews consistently connects the struggles of Afro-Uruguayans to the broader issues of race, culture, gender, and politics throughout Latin America and the African diaspora generally.
|Author||: Michael Pickering|
Blackface minstrelsy is associated particularly with popular culture in the United States and Britain, yet despite the continual two-way flow of performers, troupes and companies across the Atlantic, there is little in Britain to match the scholarship of blackface studies in the States. This book concentrates on the distinctively British trajectory of minstrelsy. The historical study and cultural analysis of minstrelsy is important because of the significant role it played in Britain as a form of song, music and theatrical entertainment. Minstrelsy had a marked impact on popular music, dance and other aspects of popular culture, both in Britain and the United States. Its impact in the United States fed into significant song and music genres that were assimilated in Britain, from ragtime and jazz onwards, but prior to these influences, minstrelsy in Britain developed many distinct features and was adapted to operate within various conventions, themes and traditions in British popular culture. Pickering provides a convincing counter-argument to the assumption among writers in the United States that blackface was exclusively American and its British counterpart purely imitative. Minstrelsy was not confined to its value as song, music and dance. Jokes at the expense of black people along with demeaning racial stereotypes were integral to minstrel shows. As a form of popular entertainment, British minstrelsy created a cultural low-Other that offered confirmation of white racial ascendancy and imperial dominion around the world. The book attends closely to how this influence on colonialism and imperialism operated and proved ideologically so effective. At the same time British minstrelsy cannot be reduced to its racist and imperialist connections. Enormously important as those connections are, Pickering demonstrates the complexity of the subject by insisting that the minstrel show and minstrel performers are understood also in terms of their own theatrical dynamics, t
|Author||: Robert Harris|
The greatest story never told, this formidable and gorgeously written biography documents the amazing and controversial short life of Calixa Lavallée--the composer of "O Canada"--and the tumult of 19th-century North America. He was a composer, a performer, an entrepreneur, and an educator; played pop and classical music; and appeared in his quasi-colonial society, tragically, just ahead of his time. Calixa Lavallee, the French Canadian composer of "O Canada," has a compelling, almost unbelievable personal story. He left home at 12 and worked as a blackface minstrel, travelling throughout the United States for more than a decade; he fought and was injured in the American Civil War in perhaps the most important battle of that war, at Antietam Creek; performed for President Lincoln several times; produced the first opera in Quebec and wrote two of his own; became a leading figure in American music education, representing American music in London; journeyed to Paris to study for two years; tried and failed to create a Quebec national conservatory. And he wrote our national anthem. But Lavallée also represents all the contradictions and confusions of Canadian identity as our country came together in the last half of the nineteenth century. To understand "O Canada," and to understand the man who wrote it, is to return to the Canada of the mid-nineteenth century, a Canada just forming as a nation, bringing together ancient racial hatreds and novel political possibilities, as culture faced culture, religion faced religion, economy faced economy. Calixa Lavallée is the most famous Canadian you have never heard of, living a life and ultimately composing a song that stands the test of time.
|Author||: Daniel Bernardi,Michael Green|
This expansive three-volume set investigates racial representation in film, providing an authoritative cross-section of the most racially significant films, actors, directors, and movements in American cinematic history. • Views the films via a historical approach in which every subject is considered both through a contemporary lens and in terms of the time of its production and initial reception • Provides up-to-date information on recent movies such as Selma (2014), The Fast and The Furious (2001–2015), 12 Years a Slave (2013), Django Unchained (2012), and Lone Survivor (2013) • Provides readers with the information and background necessary to form informed views about racial representation in film—still an important "hot-button" subject today • Edited by top scholars in the field, Daniel Bernardi and Michael Green, and contains entries by other important experts, such as Andrew Gordon and Priscilla Ovalle
|Author||: David Linton|
|Editor||: Springer Nature|
London West End revue constituted a particular response to mounting social, political, and cultural insecurities over Britain’s status and position at the beginning of the twentieth century. Insecurities regarding Britain’s colonial rule as exemplified in Ireland and elsewhere, were compounded by growing demands for social reform across the country — the call for women’s emancipation, the growth of the labour, and the trade union movements all created a climate of mounting disillusion. Revue correlated the immediacy of this uncertain world, through a fragmented vocabulary of performance placing satire, parody, social commentary, and critique at its core and found popularity in reflecting and responding to the variations of the new lived experiences. Multidisciplinary in its creation and realisation, revue incorporated dance, music, design, theatre, and film appropriating pre-modern theatre forms, techniques, and styles such as burlesque, music hall, pantomime, minstrelsy, and pierrot. Experimenting with narrative and expressions of speech, movement, design, and sound, revue displayed ambivalent representations that reflected social and cultural negotiations of previously essentialised identities in the modern world. Part of a wide and diverse cultural space at the beginning of the twentieth century it was acknowledged both by the intellectual avant-garde and the workers theatre movement not only as a reflexive action, but also as an evolving dynamic multidisciplinary performance model, which was highly influential across British culture. Revue displaced the romanticism of musical comedy by combining a satirical listless detachment with a defiant sophistication that articulated a fading British hegemonic sensibility, a cultural expression of a fragile and changing social and political order.
|Author||: Stephen Johnson|
|Editor||: Univ of Massachusetts Press|
This collection of original essays brings together a group of prominent scholars of blackface performance to reflect on this complex and troublesome tradition. The essays consider the early relationship of the blackface performer with American politics and the antislavery movement; the relationship of minstrels to the commonplace compromises of the touring 'show' business and to the mechanisation of the industrial revolution; and much more.
|Author||: Anthony Slide|
|Editor||: University Press of Kentucky|
" Thomas Dixon has a notorious reputation as the writer of the source material for D.W. Griffith’s groundbreaking and controversial 1915 feature film The Birth of a Nation . Perhaps unfairly, Dixon has been branded an arch-conservative and a racist obsessed with what he viewed as “the Negro problem.” As American Racist makes clear, however, Dixon was a complex, multitalented individual who, as well as writing some of the most popular novels of the early twentieth century, was involved in the production of some eighteen films. Dixon used the motion picture as a propaganda tool for his often outrageous opinions on race, communism, socialism, and feminism. His most spectacular production, The Fall of a Nation (1916), argues for American preparedness in the face of war and boasts a musical score by Victor Herbert, making it the first American feature film to have an original score by a major composer. Like the majority of Dixon’s films, The Fall of a Nation has been lost, but had it survived, it might well have taken its place alongside The Birth of a Nation as a masterwork of silent film. Anthony Slide examines each of Dixon’s films and discusses the novels from which they were adapted. Slide chronicles Dixon’s transformation from a major supporter of the original Ku Klux Klan in his early novels to an ardent critic of the modern Klan in his last film, Nation Aflame. American Racist is the first book to discuss Dixon’s work outside of literature and provide a wide overview of the life and career of this highly controversial twentieth-century southern populist. Anthony Slide is the author of numerous books, including Silent Players: A Biographical and Autobiographical Study of 100 Silent Film Actors and Actresses.